Shortly after taking his oath of office, President Joe Biden signed a series of executive directives and sent to Congress a pair of expansive legislative proposals highlighting the new administration's immediate priorities, The New York Times reported.
The orders rescinded the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, extended pandemic-related limits on student loan payments, preserved and fortified the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and reversed the Trump administration's plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives.
The directive on student loans continues the existing pause on monthly interest and principal payments for federally held student loans until at least September 30. The extension applies to roughly 40 million federal borrowers who have been shielded from payments and interest since the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act last March. The policy continues to exclude some 8 million borrowers with federally backed student loan debt held by private lenders, reported Politico.
Biden also sent to Congress a $1.9 trillion package of economic stimulus and pandemic relief, as well as a sweeping immigration proposal that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, the Times reported.
The relief plan includes $35 billion in funding to public institutions, including community colleges, as well as, public and private historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions.
"The president-elect's plan will ensure colleges have critical resources to implement public health protocols, execute distance learning plans, and provide emergency grants to students in need," according to a fact sheet. The Biden transition team said the money would allow millions of students to receive up to an additional $1,700 in financial assistance from their college.
Under Biden's immigration proposal, current recipients of DACA and others in temporary programs set up to shield some undocumented immigrants from deportation would be allowed to immediately apply for permanent legal residency.
The president's initial actions start a 10-day governing blitz to rapidly reverse some of the Trump administration's most controversial policies and implement his own.
In the coming days, Biden also plans to issue executive directives to undo a Trump policy that prohibited federal contractors and some grant recipients that conduct "any form of race or sex stereotyping," including diversity training, according to Politico. The policy, which had been blocked by a federal court, drew the ire of colleges and universities. Additionally, the president signed an order that "builds on" the Supreme Court's ruling last year in Bostock v. Clayton County, which said federal law protects employees against workplace discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. The order asserts that Title IX's protections based on sex extend also to sexual orientation and student identity, offering LGBTQ students more robust protections.
The New York Times
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